My last stop in China, was unfortunately probably the worst city I’ve been to, (in terms of being pretty and having things to do) but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t make an adventure out of it. I’m not sure how the city of Nanning came to be, as I couldn’t find a real industry or reason that 8 million people chose to call this place home, so I’ll just use my usual explanation for things I don’t understand in this country, ‘Its faking China’. The only reason westerns make it to this city is to get their Vietnam visa, which I too am doing.
The first night in the city we ventured out into the pouring rain in search of food. We were greeted with dog carcasses hanging abundantly, and when we decided to sit down for what look like a stew, we should have known they were going to offer us dog. Luckily, I was with another American girl that spoke Chinese, and ordered us lamb. Whether or not we actually were eating lamb was another question. The meat was so heavily seasoned, I wouldn’t have been surprised if it was actually something else. While most people envision stew as hearty chunks of meat properly seasoned with vegetables, it seemed that they had literally skinned the so called ‘lamb’ and taken a hammer to it. I know it’s a bit graphic, but imagine gnawing on shattered bones, trying to piece together what you are eating, and then discovering an eyeball…
The next day, I was hanging out with a British guy, Robbie, I had met in the hostel and he invited me to go meet up with another Chinese girl he met through Couchsurfing, Joyce, who offered to tour us around the city… on her scooter. Of course, I had to go. I have hated the scooters in China up until this moment, they are everywhere, on the sidewalks, streets, going the wrong direction. They seem to rule here, yet don’t have to obey the laws and constantly honk. Well I quickly learned the appeal of these little gems once I was riding one (go ahead mom and dad and sell the Taurus, I’m buying myself one of these bad boys when I get home). Because you don’t have to follow any rules, you get everywhere twice as fast, you can honk at everyone (it’s really annoying unless you are the one doing it) and the entire city is your parking lot (at least in China).
Robbie, Joyce and I
Joyce also introduced us to a few of her favorite restaurants, where we ate friendship noodles (didn’t figure out why they are called this) and claypot (a rice dish that is served in a claypot). These meals quickly made up for the disaster of a meal we had had the night before.
Just as we were staring to get bored, our Visas arrived and now I am off to Vietnam. While I can’t even say I put a dent in exploring China, I definitely have experienced quite a bit.